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Hear the 2017 Passat Roar with the R-Line Edition

March 10, 2017

The Volkswagen Passat is a nice upscale sedan that many families in the US rely on to get them around each year. It has a sporty look and decent performance, but it’s in no way a sports car. It’s not something that you would think about bringing to the track, and in the grand-scheme of things it’s not that fast of a car. That’s fine for most people, but for an enthusiast that wants a bit more out of his vehicles, the standard Passat probably isn’t going to do it. That’s why Volkswagen is releasing the Passat R-Line. It’s a more potent version of the Passat with plenty of power packed under the hood thanks to a turbo-charger. This car handles better, is faster and overall is just more fun to drive around.

Added Power

Thanks to the turbocharger, the Passat R-Line offers 170 HP and about 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes packed with a turbo-four and relies on a decent sized air intake in order to push the necessary air to run the unit effectively. This increased power makes the R-Line noticeably faster and more enjoyable to drive around. When you add in the top quality low-lying suspension system, and the highly precise electric-mechanical hybrid steering setup, you get a car that’s a blast to drive around, and that can handle even track driving if you really wanted to take it there.

It’s Affordable

You would think for such performance improvements you would have to pay out significantly for the Passat R-Line, but that’s not really the case. Instead you’ll only pay a small amount more than the base price of the vehicle, and you’ll probably be able to pick up this performance sedan brand-new for less than 25,000. That’s really affordable for a sporty sedan, and it’s probably one of the main reasons that buyers are going to be looking closely at it.

Comfortable Interior

To top it all off this Passat comes with a relatively upscale interior. It’s fitted with leatherette seats that are heated up front. It comes with R-Line badging and a pretty capable 6-speaker media system complete with sat radio, and a USB connection for app support. This sedan feels fully modern and is a pretty comfortable ride that looks luxurious within. There is a lot to like about the Passat R-Line, and if you want to go fast it’s really one of your best options.

If you’re in the market for a new sedan, and you want something that offers more performance than a stock Passat, the R-Line just makes sense. It doesn’t come at a huge premium, it looks and handles nicer than the base Passat, and it’s a joy to drive around. What’s not to like about it?

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a Strong 3 Row Crossover

February 23, 2017

Volkswagen has long had some gaps in its offerings. While the automaker makes some really nice sedans and wagons, and it offers a few smaller SUVs, up until now it’s yet to offer a full-sized three-row SUV. That’s the one thing that Volkswagen wanted to take care of, and they did just that with the release of the Atlas SUV. Will the release of this vehicle satisfy customers? Let’s take a look at exactly what it has to offer.

Made in America

To help the vehicle’s case, Volkswagen decided to have the Atlas SUV made in its Chattanooga Tennessee plant so they could state that it’s made in the USA. Whether or not that improves the quality of the vehicle is hard to say, but it will definitely help more of these SUVs sell each year.

A Solid and Responsive Base

The Atlas is built on the same MQB platform that underpins many of Volkswagen’s top vehicles today. It feels stable, agile and smooth atop the heavily tested platform, and using the system will likely make the SUV very reliable as well. It’s the same platform that the tiny Golf is built on, which shows just how flexible Volkswagen’s vehicle platform can be.

Quick with Enough Power

The Volkswagen comes with two different power options. The stock engine is a turbo four that puts out 235 HP to the front wheels of the vehicle. The optional engine is a V6 with 276 HP. Both options are a bit lower than many competitors on the market with over 300 HP, but they don’t feel sluggish and handle well. The engines come with an eight-speed transmission that shifts smoothly and works well to keep the crossover in the most appropriate gear for acceleration or high performance driving.

Reliable All Wheel Drive

The SUV comes with 4Motion all-wheel-drive but unlike many other systems on the road today, it has selectable drive styles as well. That means you can quickly change from on-road to off-road, to snow or a more custom off-road selection. No matter what type of driving environment you’re going to be in, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your vehicle set up to handle well in that situation.

Massive Interior Space

Crossovers are favored more than sedans because of the added space that they offer, and this is especially true for the Atlas. It offers an exceptional level of headroom and legroom for all the passengers within. While riding around within the Atlas, you’ll be amazed at the level of legroom offered in the second row, and the third-row riders can have a decent amount if you slid the second row forward a bit. The vehicle is very flexible within, giving you the space you need no matter what you are doing out on the road.

The Atlas is a good all-around SUV and it will be a major asset to Volkswagen when it’s finally released to the public. It’s the first three-row SUV on the market for the car maker, and the vehicle has serious curb appeal. More information about the vehicle will be available in April, but for now we know that the base model is expected to sell for around $30,000

The 2017 e-Golf Gets a Major Upgrade

February 16, 2017

The Volkswagen e-Golf has been one of the top electric vehicles in the industry since it came out more than 5 years ago. It’s a solid vehicle with a decent range and a whole lot to offer to drivers looking for a way to get away from fossil fuels. It received an upgrade a short while ago that bumped the vehicle’s range up near 80 miles on a single charge. Well not the latest e-Golf is being released in places like Germany, and the range is even higher still. The latest e-Golf is more refined, more powerful, offers a major range boost and is worth looking at seriously if you want an EV.

The Range Boost

Up from around 80 miles on a charge, this EV can no travel between 125 miles and 180 miles at a maximum. That’s a huge improvement to range, and it’s something that most drivers will be happy about. Just about everyone will be able to use the electric vehicle for commuting purposes now, which means that it’s a whole lot more useful for regular workers looking for a way to curb their gasoline use. In order to achieve the higher range, Volkswagen cut down on weight here and there, and worked in a larger battery. It has a total capacity of 35.8 Kilowatt hours, which is a nice capacity improvement.

More Safety Features

Safety is vitally important to most drivers and improved safety features make for a better and more reliable vehicle to drive around. That’s why it’s good to see that the latest e-Golf comes with enhanced features that you simply will not find on too many other vehicles. The car comes with pedestrian scan features that look out for pedestrians and other obstacles in the road. The radar system picks up on these obstacles and then applies the brakes to slow the vehicle down. The setup will help prevent more accidents without changing the way that people drive too much.

More Powerful than Ever

The new e-Golf isn’t packed with a huge amount of power, but it comes with about 20 HP more to work with. That means that you can travel from 0 to 62 in 9.6 seconds, and you can accelerate comfortably to travel in most speeds. There’s no reason to worry about taking too long to merge into traffic or to travel around in general. The e-Golf should feel light on its feet and should be pretty fun to drive as well.

There’s a lot to love about the latest e-Golf, but there is still no release date for the United States yet. The same features are expected to be included on the U.S. vehicle, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer before taking one out for a spin on U.S. soil.

Subaru Outback Versus Golf Alltrack: Which Wagon will Win?

February 12, 2017

Station wagons aren’t popular anymore right? In fact, station wagons haven’t been popular for a few decades right? Well, not necessarily. Both the Subaru Outback and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack are highly popular vehicles that are selling really well today. Sure many buyers would agree that station wagons aren’t the most attractive vehicles to look at, but it’s hard to beat the utility that they offer in such a compact car form-factor. The good news is that both of these wagon variants are pretty solid cars, the bad news is that you’ll have to choose one or the other when deciding on your next vehicle. We’ll delve into both of these bad boys to help you figure out exactly which one is the right one for your needs.

17 Subaru Outback

17 Subaru Outback

 

Appearance

When picking between the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and the Subaru Outback, you’re really choosing between the look of a traditional station wagon, and the look of a little SUV. The Outback looks like a station wagon, albeit a modern one. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack looks more like a compact SUV. The appearance that appeals to you is completely subjective, but if you just want the utility without the looks of a wagon the Alltrack is likely the better option of the bunch.

17-golf-alltrack

17 Golf Alltrack

Superb Handling

While the Subaru Outback is a bit more capable when you drive off the smooth path, how often do most US drivers do that? If you’ll be using your wagon on standard paved roads most of the time it makes sense to consider how the vehicle is going to handle in that instance. The Golf Alltrack offers top-notch performance and handling for a station wagon. The steering remains tight around corners, handling is responsive and accurate at all times. There’s also the added benefit of a manual option with the Alltrack so that you can drive like a race-car driver if you really want to. This option isn’t offered on the Outback.

Towing Power

If you plan on doing any real towing with your station wagon, you should take a good hard look at the Subaru Outback. It is rated to pull between 2,700 and 3,000 lbs. That’s something that isn’t recommended at all in the Alltrack. We argue that with all the space the Alltrack offers you likely won’t have too much need to tow, but every owner’s use will vary and it might be important to you.

Interior Looks

When it comes to the look of the inside of the wagon, the Outback is very different from the Alltrack. The Outback is pretty basic with cheaper materials and less design work. Overall it looks like a base vehicle that’s appointed decently, but it doesn’t pass for a luxury vehicle within at all. The Golf Alltrack is appointed with nicer furnishings and actually does look more like a luxury vehicle within. It might be a bit more difficult to maintain, so there is always a tradeoff to consider.

Space

When it comes to space in general the Subaru Outback wins the war. It’s got around 4 cubic feet of added storage space at the rear, and the seating is a bit roomier for added comfort. The Alltrack is intimate and lacks a bit of the utility of the Outback, but that’s likely why it handles better, so you have to pick what appeals to you most.

 

The Subaru Outback is for rugged outdoorsy types that want more towing, more space and more off-road handling. The Golf Alltrack is for users that want better performance, a nicer look and more comfortable interior. Both are similar in power, price and tech, so the differences outlined above have to determine which is the winner for you.

The 2017 Golf Alltrack is Highly Capable

February 3, 2017

It’s been quite a while since hatchbacks were popular, but they are coming back in the United States. In order to answer that increasing demand, Volkswagen put out the 2017 Alltrack. It’s a sporty hatchback that’s surprisingly capable and high class. It’s a good solid option worth considering, but first let’s look over the features and go over what makes this car special.

2017-golf-alltrack

High Class Interior

The inside of the Alltrack nearly resembles a luxury model. Soft touch materials are used throughout, the front seats are comfortable and the media system comes with all the expected features. There’s support for Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay. The only real downside to the inside of the Alltrack is that the back seats are a bit cramped. Adults would find it tight in back, but most children have no trouble riding back there without issue. The hatchback also happens to be whisper quiet while you drive down the road thanks to excellent sound proofing down by Volkswagen. Overall it’s a treat to ride in.

It’s Fast

When you look at the Alltrack you probably think of the Subaru Outback. The vehicle probably doesn’t strike you as very fast either. All those preconceptions will fade away once you’re behind the wheel of the hatchback though. It’s surprisingly quick thanks to the 170 HP engine that it’s equipped with. Acceleration is enjoyable and a quick stomp on the gas pedal will put you back into your seat. The dual clutch the engine is attached to is also a treat to use and it’s so smooth you’ll find it hard picking out the different gear shifts during standard driving.

It Handles Like a Champ

Hatch backs aren’t known for their handling prowess, but the 2017 Alltrack does surprisingly well around the corners and in standard driving conditions. It has a firm suspension and is designed to minimize body roll. That means you can really carve out the corners as you drive around and put this station wagon through its paces. It’s a blast to drive around, and you don’t have to worry about holding back while you motor around either.

Top Level Safety is Available

Though we were a bit surprised not to see any blind spot monitoring system offered for the Alltrack, the safety package that’s available for the vehicle offers most of the top-level preventative safety features that you would want. It comes with adaptive cruise, that will help regulate speeds with varying traffic types out on the highway. The package also comes with a forward collision system that brakes automatically in extreme emergencies, and sounds an alarm when obstacles get too close out front.

Overall the Alltrack is a solid piece of machinery that you can’t help but love if you like hatchbacks. If you are in the market for this type of vehicle, give the 2017 Alltrack a look.

Volkswagen will Feature the First Embedded Alexa Voice Control

January 18, 2017

Volkswagen is known as an innovator and automakers have long been looking for ways to offer top quality voice features to their vehicles. It only seems natural that Volkswagen would be the first automaker to actually embed Amazon Alexa into its vehicles. If you aren’t familiar with Amazon Alexa, it’s highly rated voice chat system that offers exciting features to its users, like smarthome control and simple research capabilities. You can even place Amazon orders by saying simple commands to one of the little voice chat hubs. When added to a vehicle though, things get even more interesting. Upcoming Volkswagen vehicles will come with some pretty cool voice control features.

vw-jetta-interior

 

Voice Nav

Voice navigation is the best way to figure out where you need to go, and Alexa is a perfect fit for the job. Alexa can tie into your vehicle’s navigation system and offer you turn-by-turn directions while making it easier to look up new places as well. Drivers will enjoy advanced navigation features and more control over where they are going.

Smarter with Time

The nice thing about Amazon Alexa is that it gets smarter over time, and this will prove true in the automotive version of the tech as well. Alexa is designed to learn your user preferences over time, which means it will begin offering more useful navigation advice that brings you on the types of roads that you actually enjoy traveling on, rather than the fastest route all the time. This should naturally make driving more enjoyable and make navigating from one place to another a bit more natural as well.

Vehicle Information

Since the automotive Amazon Alexa system is tied right into your car’s computer, you can use it to tap into vehicle information even when you aren’t around it. In the future that might make it possible to start your vehicle, lock or unlock the doors and to check the fuel level of the vehicle, all from one of the Alexa hubs around your home, or by using your smartphone.

Home Control

Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular, because it’s nice to be able to control your home even when you aren’t there. You can lower temperatures while out of the house using a smart thermostat, or you can raise them back up before heading home if you’re going home at an unexpected time. Heck, you can even play music, turn lights on and off or lock and unlock the doors of your house withe right smart setup. Amazon Alexa is a natural addition to many of these systems, and Alex Automotive ties right in with the whole ecosystem, giving you access to everything that your home-based Alexa has access to. That means that you can turn your temperatures up, unlock your home to let your Uncle in, or open up that smart doggy door to let Fido out, all while being behind the wheel of your Volkswagen.

The Only Embedded Alexa

By saying that Volkswagen is offering an embedded Alexa I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy Alexa in another vehicle, you can. You just can’t do so without having a smartphone hooked up. You’ll have to remember to plug your phone in before every trip to get those sort of features, and they still won’t be available in every vehicle that you ride around in. With the latest Volkswagen vehicles, you’ll always have Alexa available, even if you forget to bring your smartphone along for the ride.

There’s no word exactly when Alexa will be add to Volkswagen vheicles, but it’s expected on some of the next models to be released.

A Bigger and More Effective Volkswagen Tiguan on the Way

January 11, 2017

The Volkswagen Tiguan is about to get larger and more exciting for many American families. That’s because Volkswagen is realizing that it doesn’t offer large enough SUVs for many Americans. The automaker unveiled an up-sized version of the Tiguan that it will be releasing in a year or two from now. This version of the Tiguan shows off three rows of seating with space to hold 7 passengers comfortably. Not only that, but it’s nearly 57% larger on the interior, offering some serious storage space for families, especially if they don’t need the additional seating.

tiguan-3-rows

Front and All Wheel Drive Options

The up-sized Tiguan comes standard with three rows of seating if you pick up the front-wheel drive version of the vehicle. That means the base model is going to come standard with the added space and seating room.

If you go for the all-wheel drive version of the Tiguan, you won’t get the added seating as standard. That’s the option for buyers that really don’t want that extra seating at all. Instead you’ll have to add the third row of seating on as an extra if you want to be able to take advantage of it.

Cool Safety Features

Preventative safety features are becoming normal on new vehicles, and Volkswagen doesn’t want to be left behind. While the automaker does not plan on setting the features to be offered standard with the base Tiguan, they will add the option for different features so that you can choose which ones you want added on.

Options like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, pedestrian monitoring and forward-collision systems are all expected to be available to interested buyers.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is sure to get some tech upgrades as well, but overall the main change that’s coming to it is the larger size and increased seat capacity. It will run on a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and should be relatively efficient considering its overall size.

If you have a large family, and you like Volkswagen vehicles, the next Tiguan, or even the Atlas SUV from Volkswagen could be a good solid option to consider.